Ozias Humphry R.A. (1742-1810)

Ozias Humphry R.A. (1742-1810)

Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, half-length

inscribed in pen lower right Prince Charles Stewart drawn from nature at Florence 1776;
black chalk
13½ x 9¼in. (34.2 x 23.5cm)

Lot Essay

Charles Edward Stuart first visited Florence in 1737, under the supervision of the Hon. James Murray, his Governor, as part of his "education," touring the North Italian States. He was greeted with delight by the Tuscan Government and people, although to appease London the Grand Duke himself did not entertain him.
During his years of secretive wandering after the Forty-Five, he may or may not have visited Florence. However, in 1770 he went there again on his way to Pisa and was so well received that he announced he would settle there after his Pisan trip. The Grand Ducal Government, concerned they might upset the British Government, convinced Charles through his brother Henry to go back to Pisa where he remained for several months. In April 1772, he married Louise of Stolberg, at the instigation of the French Government who wanted a Stuart heir to tease London and later moved to Florence. His wife ignoring the butt of his drunken insults, took a lover, Count Alfieri, in 1777, which Charles seems to have tolerated. However in 1780 following his complaints of Louise's affair, she left Florence for a convent in Rome, leaving Charles in Florence, drinking and befriending King Gustav III of Sweden, who brokered a reconciliation with Henry and the Pope (both of whom had taken Louise's side). This enabled Louise to obtain a formal separation from Charles and paved the way for his return to Rome in 1785 where he died in January, 1788.

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